Love God

A Life of Excellence, part 11

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Many people would agree that spirituality has a valuable place in our lives. For me, living a life of excellence spiritually means that I must continue to grow in relationship and communion with God because that is whom I place my faith in. As I’ve already said in other blog posts, this has become the most important thing to me in this life. This priority is aimed above myself, my family, and any relationship with a close partner. The word aimed was used because we fall short so often, but it is something that is strived for.

At first glance, it may seem selfish that God would want first place in my life. So, I’ve tried to make sense of it by thinking of it in another way, a day in the life of. Let’s say I was married and had children and was the sole provider for my household. During the day, my family has no idea, or can even mentally process what I’ve been tirelessly working on. How do you think I would feel if my children then spent all their time with others, instead of me? What if my wife spent all her time with friends or watching television while tuning me out completely? Can I not get five minutes of alone time with them? If I genuinely loved them, I would keep doing all the things even though they paid no attention to me. But when you look at it, how selfish would they be, always accepting something from me but never showing love and appreciation in return?

Through the years I’ve come to believe the best version of me I’ve been able to give my family, partners, and even me, has been made greater as a result of putting God first place in my life. My life has been transformed in so many ways, I cannot help but share my faith because it has worked for me on such a deep level that I want others to share. I continue to place an emphasis on growing spiritually every day, not just to obtain a deeper knowledge of life but a deeper relationship.

It is true many children follow the faith of their parents. For this reason, faith is often criticized. Some would argue that the child needs to think and make up their minds for themselves. While part of that statement is true, it is full of holes. If you allow children the full freedom to follow out their own decisions, rather than those of an adult, it will probably end up really bad. They think it’s okay to play in the streets. Imagine given the free choice to eat ice cream every night for dinner. Things like eating vegetables… are you kidding me, never again! Brush my teeth, who has time for that? Children are instructed to follow orders all the time, but it is for good reason.

Children haven’t lived long enough to know the consequences of their actions and decisions. They must be given guidance. If left to their own devices, they might become tyrannical rulers over other children. They do not fully develop the ability to reason until their mid-twenties. Until they have done so, many parents try to guide them as best as they can until then. Part of that includes teaching what has worked for the parents. We must learn early on how to live among others or risk ending up at war with them.

When children get older, they learn how to think and reason for themselves. As a result, some have challenged the religious views they were taught at an early age. If they go to college, they will be exposed to alternative ways of thinking that contradict what they’ve been taught. Highly intelligent people will be coming at them with new material. Chances are that many students aren’t prepared for such questions. All of a sudden, they are told what they believed in was wrong and given other ideas to believe in. I’m not a parent, so my opinion really doesn’t matter but I will share it anyway, coming at it from the perspective of a child. While my parents did not cover all the topics I would eventually face as an adult, I knew where they stood on certain things. I witnessed firsthand how their decisions impacted their lives, which was a testament to their faith. With all the new ideas I heard, I did not witness the same amount of years and see where that way of thinking led.

Even when it seemed like my faith wasn’t working, I knew that God was. The plan always unfolded before me. The delays were usually the result of me not taking the next step, not the other way around. I may not have liked the timing or agreed with the methods but looking back it makes a lot of sense. Out of all the posts on living a life of excellence, none would mean the same for me if I had not chosen to live a life of spiritual excellence. Each area of our lives influences the others, and by far, spirituality has influenced me more than any other area.

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